The knight comes before the King,
The lady in waiting precedes the Queen;
When the circle of time has been completed
All thing return to the beginning place
Where everything possible is made new.
First, one hand clapping is heard,
Followed by the chorus of horns.
The Water Dragon comes.
Cymbals clash as his armies move,
Choruses sing his praises.
In splendor, the Dragon King sits
Atop the elephant whose head is a mountain,
Whose legs uphold the world.
At each step the thunder rolls
And heaven resonates in answer.
A rush of air smoky with incense,
Announces the arrival of the Phoenix.
Hot, bright, restless, she alights,
Surrounded by her ladies,
Her flaming wings stretched wide.
They sing and the Fire Bird burns
Higher and higher,
Incandescent and clear.
Then she dances for the Dragon
And brings all things into being.
“it is good,” the King says,
And all are waved away
As he invites the Phoenix
Into his temple where she sits
On silken cushions as he sings to her.
Long stay they in that place
And explore the mountain passes
And secret valleys.
They gaze with long eyes
Into each other’s hearts
And see there riders in procession
Across a high mountain desert
Where Portola sits
In endless bliss
Under Arjuna’s bow.
Spreading herself wide,
An empty bowl under Heaven,
The Phoenix opens the flower gate
And the Dragon showers her with stars
Pouring out his endless oceans
Into her fathomless depths,
Into the darkest midnights
Beneath the polar moon,
Until at last the Queen becomes
The Eternal Flame
And transforms her dragon lover
Into a mist
Where they sleep
In each other’s arms,
In each other’s dreams,
In each other’s spirit,
In each other’s tomorrows,
Until at last
The Water Dragon stirs,
To the Fire Bird
“Awake, Beloved. Come!”